Is Wentworth Still The European Tour Flagship Event?

The ‘flagship’ is the ship in a fleet which carries the commanding admiral. It’s the main boat and the most important one.

The European Tour flagship event is supposedly the BMW PGA this week but upon closer inspection the upper deck isn’t carrying all its senior officers at Wentworth.

Admiral Rory of the Irish navy is still docked somewhere in the Irish Sea after too much grog, Vice-Admiral Rose was hurt in battle and Captain Sergio of the Spanish Armada wants more pieces of silver. 

This just leaves Commander Willett of the all-conquering Rotherham fleet and a load of young mates with potential.

Is the Wentworth event a sinking ship?

The Masters champs is the main star now

Player's gripes

Whether it be the players moaning about the greens, the simple fact that Colonial Classic on the PGA Tour is worth £700,000 more, or just that the fact the Wentworth event has stayed still whilst other European Tour events have become a more attractive proposition in busy schedules... It’s probably a combination.

Due to its proximity to London getting crowds in has never been a problem, unlike much of the rest of the schedule, but the lack of superstar players is likely to affect attendances and in turn put off future sponsors.

The well documented ownership mess that has been going on at Wentworth itself or the fact they are ripping the greens out on Monday after putting the wrong grass in them can’t help and nor can the addition of the Olympics to the schedules of the world’s top players.

It is seemingly a perfect storm of problems that has the real potential of sinking this particular flagship.

Keith Pelley, the European Tour's main man

Is there a new Admiral in town?

But at helm of the European Tour Keith Pelley does seem to be slowly sailing the ship in the right direction.

Next year there will be seven events worth €7million and 12 the season after that so the top players may well be less inclined to seek their fortunes across the Atlantic.

And the European Tour does have some fantastic young talents in the likes of Fitzpatrick, Sullivan, An, Pieters and more but if they don’t move quickly you fear they’ll all be plucked from the crow’s nest by the big money, razzmatazz of the PGA Tour before long.

You’d like to think Pelley could change things quickly and steer them but as with all big ships they are slow to turn and everything seems to take an age.

 

PS This article is only partly inspired by the European Tour’s lack of ability/willingness/foresight/organisation to get us our media access. 

If they want to find us we’ll be the ones climbing through the trees by the 12th green this week.

I'm the Managing Editor at The Club. I like putting and Rioja. I dislike my low slice.